Manager asks BCCI to be magnanimous May 27, 2008

Board criticised for not commemorating World Cup win

Cricinfo staff

Kapil Dev, who led India to the World Cup win in 1983, has now joined the ICL © AFP

PR Man Singh, the manager of India's 1983 World Cup winning squad, has criticised the Indian board for failing to organise a function to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the achievement and called its reluctance to felicitate players who have joined the Indian Cricket League (ICL) a 'clash of egos'.

On June 25, India will celebrate the silver jubilee of its World Cup win, when they beat West Indies in the final at Lord's and Man Singh said the victory was the reason why cricket really took off in the country. Private celebrations have been organised by Professional Management Group, a firm run by Sunil Gavaskar, who was also a member of the squad and Kapil Dev, who captained India to the historic win and is now the chairman of the ICL executive board, said it was unlikely the BCCI would be invited to the party.

Man Singh argued that the occasion was big as India hadn't won the World Cup since 1983. "The board has celebrated all other occasions -- the jubilees of the Ranji and Duleep Trophies, the platinum jubilee of the board itself," he told Deccan Herald, a Bangalore-based daily. "But what cricket is today is because of the 1983 World Cup win. The media played its role in popularising the sport, but you needed an event to do it, and that victory provided the event."

Man Singh suggested the board award Rs 1 crore (US$ 233,300) to each of the 15 squad members. "If you can give a crore for six sixes [to Yuvraj Singh for the Twenty20 World Cup], this is a bigger event. Why can't they give a crore of rupees each to the players that won us the World Cup? What is Rs 15 crore [$3.5 million] for the board? Let's not mix up a person's subsequent alliances to what he has achieved. If Sunil [Gavaskar] and Kapil [Dev] can get together as icons of Indian cricket and raise Rs 5 or 6 crore, can't the board do it?

"Let's keep the ICL aside and look at the players as the Indian team that won the World Cup, then the players will be happy," Man Singh said. "In 1983, the board did not have this kind of money. They gave Rs 1 lakh ($2330) each raised out of a concert by Lata Mangeshkar. Now, the board can have a little do and appreciate each of the 15 people involved in that victory. The BCCI should be magnanimous. They are the governing body. They will get a lot of credit for organising a felicitation function, and players will be left feeling that they are not a forgotten lot."